Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library
BOOK OF HOURS, use of Besançon1. ff. 1-12v: Full calendar in French, alternating red and blue with major feasts in gold; f. 13r-v, ruled, but blank. 2. ff. 14-21v: Pericopes of the Gospels, the set of them ending with the prayer, Protector in te sperancium…[Perdrizet, 25]. 3. ff. 22-93v: Hours of the Virgin, use of Besançon; 9 lessons at matins, each set of 3 preceded by the psalms for the weekdays [Pss. 8, 18, 23; 41, 45, 86; 95, 96, 97]; from lauds to compline, the prayers of John the Evangelist, Ecclesiam tuam quesumus domine…and the antiphon, Gaude virgo mater christi que per aurem concepisti…, with versicle, response and prayer, Omnipotens sempiterne deus qui beatissimam et gloriosissimam virginem mariam in conceptu…[HE, 63-64]. 4. ff. 94-99: Short hours of the Cross. 5. ff. 99v-103v: Short hours of the Holy Spirit. 6. ff. 104-122: Penitential psalms and litany, including Quentin, Denis, Maurice among the martyrs; Brictius, Remigius, Germanus, and Columban among the confessors; Genevieve and Bridget among the virgins. 7. ff. 122v-171: Office of the Dead, use of Besançon. 8. ff. 171-177v: Oratio valde devota, Obsecro te…et michi miserrima famula tua N.…[Leroquais, LH 2:346]; oratio, O Intemerata…orbis terrarum. Inclina mater…[Wilmart, 488-90]. 9. ff. 178-188: Doulce dame de misericorde…[Leroquais, LH 2:310-11]; Doulz dieux pere saincte trinitey et ung dieu…[Leroquais, LH 2:309-10]; O tres certaine esperance dame et deffenderesse…[Sonet 1538]; ff. 188v-189v, ruled, but blank. Parchment, ff. iii (modern paper, with tooled parchment doublure glued to the recto of f. i) + ii (modern parchment) + 189 + ii (modern parchment) + iii (modern paper, with tooled parchment doublure glued to the verso of the last leaf); 230 × 165 (100 × 70) mm. 16 26(+7, f. 13) 38(?, ff. 14-21) 4-138 142(ff. 102-103) 15-248 256. Catchwords in center lower margin in scripts of varying degree of formality. 15 long lines, ruled in pale red ink; pricking usually visible. Written in a gothic book hand, in 2 sizes according to liturgical function; ff. 178-188, possibly by a different hand. Eighteen large miniatures, by an artist who has worked on other Besançon books of hours, e.g. Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum MSS 69 and 70, and New York, Public Library MS 411; for this last manuscript, see Plummer, Last Flowering, n. 76 with a plate of f. 20; vivid dark colors with a silvery sky and scurrying gold clouds, in arched compartments above 3 lines of text, with both text and miniature enclosed by a decorated wide U-shape frame; the outer border is of dense blue and gold acanthus leaves, flowers, berries, and many grotesques. The miniatures are: f. 14 (Gospel of John), John on Patmos, shown clearly as an island; f. 16, Luke holding his pen up as if to check the point; f. 18, Matthew sharpening his pen; f. 20, Mark; f. 22 (Hours of the Virgin), Annunciation; f. 47 (Lauds), Visitation, in a hilly countryside with large white stones scattered in the foreground; f. 60 (Prime), Nativity, with Mary, another woman and Joseph holding a candle, all kneeling around a rather large baby Jesus, while 3 small angels sing from scrolls in the sky above the stall; f. 65v (Terce), Annunciation to the shepherds; large white stones on the path; f. 71 (Sext), Adoration of the Magi, with the Virgin and Child on a red-draped bed and 2 small angels holding scrolls above the stall; the owners’ coat of arms in the lower margin (see below); f. 75v (None), frame around the miniature is unfinished; Presentation in the temple; f. 81 (Vespers), Flight into Egypt, the road with scattered large stones; f. 88v (Compline), Coronation of the Virgin by God the Father, as Jesus blesses and the Dove hovers between them; f. 94 (Hours of the Cross), Crucifixion with the INRI legend on a rather large piece of wood at the top of the cross, and on either side, Mary, and John holding an open book; f. 99v (Hours of the Holy Spirit), Pentecost with the Virgin, on a larger scale than the apostles, seated on a raised dias in the middle of the group with an open book on her knees; f. 104 (Penitential psalms), David kneeling in prayer with his hands open wide, before a half-length figure of God in the sky; f. 122v (Office of the Dead), Raising of Lazarus, with large white rocks in the foreground; f. 178 (Doulce dame de misericorde), owner portrait of a woman, in a blue dress and white veil, kneeling before the Virgin and Child; in the foreground, a cradle and a dog on a cushion; f. 184 (Doulz dieux pere saincte trinitey), Last Judgment, with Christ sitting on a rainbow, his feet resting on a tripart globe (earth, air and water), while 4 blue angels blow their trumpets and the dead rise from their graves. On f. 171 (Obsecro te) a bracket border of the same type as above; traced band borders in the outer margin of every page, each with a grotesque, running the length of the text, and separated from it by a decorated gold strip; these borders also on ff. 188v-189v on ruled, but otherwise blank, leaves. The band borders of the calendar include the monthly occupation on the recto and the zodiac symbol on the verso; on f. 5v, the two Gemini support a coat of arms (see below). 3-line initials in white-patterned blue on a maroon ground decorated with painted gold, or in white-decorated pink with green leaf infilling against a blue ground; occasionally the infilling is of an older style with colored trilobe leaves. 2-line initials, in alternating pink or blue against a gold ground with trilobe leaf infilling; 1-line initials in gold with the two colors as ground and infilling; ribbon line fillers in the same colors; initials within the text washed in yellow. Rubrics throughout. Bound, s. XIX, in dark blue morocco by Simier and elaborately gilt by Debèse, with tooled parchment doublures; gauffered gilt edges; remains of 2 silver-gilt fore edge claps. Written in the middle of the fifteenth century for use in Besançon to judge by the Hours of the Virgin and the Office of the Dead. Arms on f. 5v, gules a bend argent, of the Neufchâtel family. Arms on f. 71 of Guy de La Baume, count of Montrevel (d. 1516; Montrevel is in the department of the Ain) and his wife Jeanne de Longwy: per pale, 1, or a bend indented azure (de la Baume; see Rietstap, vol. 1, pl. 145); 2, azure a bend or (Longwy; see Rietstap, vol. 4, pl. 86). Notes relating to the Rye and Longwy families for the years 1557-67 are on the first leaves of the calendar (the three sons of Simon de Rye and Jeanne de La Baume married the three daughters of Christophe de Longwy and Jeanne de Neufchâtel); a transcription of these notes and information regarding the family members mentioned in them have been carefully copied out in red and black ink on ff. ii-iii verso; the transcription is signed and dated, although by a different hand, “19 Avril 1862. E. M. Bancel”; his sale, Paris, 8 May 1882, n. 12 to Ellis. The manuscript belonged to E. Dwight Church (1835-1908); see his Catalogue of…English Literature (1909) vol. 1, n. 403 with a plate of f. 65v. The Church collection was acquired by Henry E. Huntington in 1911. Bibliography: De Ricci, 97.
France, s. XVmed
1 We are indebted to Prof. James Marrow for this information.
C. W. Dutschke with the assistance of R. H. Rouse et al., Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library (San Marino, 1989). Copyright 1989.
Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California.
Electronic version encoded by Sharon K, Goetz, 2003.
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